Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rude Awakening

This was the view that greeted me at 8am on Sunday as I walked by the patio door...and before coffee. I've lived in this house for 18 years and the water has never gone over the patio. It has gotten close before but nothing compated to this. The big clump of grass at the top of the photo is surrounded by lariope that's 8-10" high.

Our creek, Vaughns Gap Branch, is usually a pleasant little stream that meanders its way through the neighborhood. It ranges from a couple feet to maybe 10 feet wide and is ankle to mid-calf deep.

This creek, however, gives a whole new meaning to meandering. We did some calculations and estimate that the creek got to about 400 across. That's a lot of water!

By the time I took this photo from my drive way, the water had gone down about 6 to 8 inches.

The creek relocated some of our bridge to an undisclosed location downstream.

Let's rewind to Saturday night. It had rained all day Saturday, and I'm talking about a hard, driving rain. The news reported flash flood warnings and urged everyone who lived near a river or creek to be prepared to evacuate at any point during the night. Zack and I took action and moved most of the stuff from the garage floor to shelves and the work bench before we went to bed.
Before dawn on Sunday, the weather alarm went off with severe thunderstorm warnings for the neighboring county. I got up, checked the news, checked the creek and went back to bed. At 8am I got a phone call letting me know a luncheon had been cancelled. That's when I got up and looked out the patio door.
When I saw the water, I knew the garage was in danger. Sure enough, the water was seeping in and was about 12 inches past the door. I literally ran back to the bedroom, pulled on some jeans and a t-shirt, I don't think I grabbed shoes, and went back to the garage. It was 4 inches deep and still rising. I swear it only took me a couple minutes to throw on some clothes. That's how fast water can rise.
I yelled for Zack and he jumped into action. I'm sure the tone of my voice was something he had never heard before. By the time I got to my car the water was within an inch of the body. I was afraid to move it, but determined that the house had blocked some of the current. The car started up and I was able to move it to higher ground. Then it was time to bang on neighbors' doors and make sure everyone was prepared to evacuate.
Only one neighbor was unappreciative of the early morning wake up call. When he finally got to the door, I asked him if he was ok and aware of the creek. He looked at me like I was nuts and said, "yeah" (in the same tone you'd use when saying "duh!") then shut the door in my face. WHAT?? Is that how his mother raised him? If someone is banging on your door, nearly knee deep in water, soaking wet and telling you to prepare to evacuate, you don't just say "yeah". I won't knock on his door again. Nope. He's on his own. Jerk. (I'm glad I got that off my chest...pity he won't ever read it.)
I'll post more on the flood on another night. Just know that we didn't have to evacuate, we didn't lose power, we didn't lose much at all compared to so many others. Want to help? Check out Hands On Nashville. This is just one of many organizations helping Nashvillians.
Heed storm warnings. Heed flood warnings. Don't drive over water-covered roads.


GailR said...

Glad you are safe and well.

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